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Friday, 5 July 2013

Fortune cookie philosophy

Or, you know, maybe just "Fortune Cookie Thinking" (I can't be bothered to find out right now if it its just right with what I have in mind)... or "I know this is not a good title."


Yes, it's taking me a while to write. Mostly because I'm in no mood to write, but also because it's inconvenient (preferring to wait until my sister's quite asleep before I log in and by the time she is I will have most likely opted for going to sleep too). What have I been up to...?

First news first, little too's sister seems to have made a full recovery. She's a little weak still, but very much alive and, as far as tests can tell, healthy. It makes me very happy... because her death would have made me very sad and frankly too many things make me very sad lately.

You are worthy enough to ask and blessed enough to receive back. That's the fortune cookie I got. I chose to think it meant "Your wish for the pup to live has been granted." Any other meaning leads to trouble, doesn't it? I don't like to ask for much, I certainly don't expect a lot. 

Just take today, for instance. Since yesterday, the day had been spelled out to us: F-U-N. We'd plan something with BCM, seeing as cousin S was away. This morning it had changed to "Cousin I doesn't want to go and that's my excuse for not going (I've been known to give up the chance to go to a fun concert of an artist I know and to get to meet him in person, even though others I know are going and will have a blast). BCM will pick you girls up in the afternoon." We played around with makeup and curled my hair for fun. We prettied ourselves up. We told mum, When BCM was here I turned everything off in the room, put on my shoes, picked up a bag and the camera and came out to say hello and... "Why did you bring your bag? What are you two all dolled up for?" We didn't go out. We stayed here and started watching (thank goodness we didn't sit through all of it) that silly mock-umentary about mermaids (which BCM and husband thought was, in fact, a documentary). 

Quite sad already, but defeated, we changed into our pyjamas and lay on our beds to watch Funny Girl. I dreaded a call from home because I was fighting back tears as it was and I didn't want to tell mum about how we'd just stayed here and done fuck all. Some 10min into the film aunt A came to say "What? You girls are already in bed? I thought I'd come here and offer you a poor non-existent substitute for the fun you were to have, have you looked into your options?" No, there's nothing of the sort nearby, no, we wouldn't have you or cousin I having to drive us anywhere you didn't want to be in the first place. I cried a little (as little as I could) when she left and caught myself having to brush off a tear from my cheek when cousin I walked by the door and looked in. A good deal of it is the empty promise of fun, childish as it sounds.

LC4 didn't go to school this week and he came here on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Early in the morning (8am is early enough to have to be ready when we'd gotten used to sleeping until 11am) he'd be here. He came with that horrible contraption of his and played, minding nothing and no one. Aunt A left him be but made plans: on Monday we were to eat out so there would be something for lunch LC4 would like. He got first choice of the restaurant. He was given the chance to play and do what he pleased. While she went into the arcade games place with him, aunt A gave my sister and I money enough to buy an ice cream to share between the two of us. We bought gifts for BCM because what-was-the-last-time-aunt A-gave-her-anything? She then bought LC4 an ice cream and pretended to be surprised by their prices (it was hardly the first time she bought ice cream or noticed its price). For Tuesday she'd thought of going to a theme park or a museum LC4 would enjoy, we scrapped those plans because of the rain. Before it rained, my sister and I played with him outside and got him away from screens and videogames for a while (call me old-fashioned, but if you can't look away from the screen when real people interact with you in real life, you have trouble). On Wednesday we went to the cinema. 

Darling dears, I see no problem with this on its own. My sister and I were glad enough to help pick something BCM might like, glad enough to make LC4 eat and behave, to get lunch out, to watch a film we also wanted to watch. LC4 is a child, the closest aunt A has to a grandchild and it's nice to want to please him. But bear in mind LC4 was here for three days and she was eager to have something to do with him each day. My sister's been here for a month and see if we get similar treatment. The whole reason I got the fortune cookie was a guilt trip of aunt A's for making a scene about how she was having the worst day ever because she found out she doesn't have the best cardiovascular system (Surprise! That's what happens when you have a bad diet and a terrible lifestyle!) and why were we mad at her and making faces at her (we weren't, we went out for a fairly long walk, came back tired and were talking to my mum when she barged in to make a scene). She might have felt bad about it, because she offered to treat us to dinner (actually kind of rare). (And to think she was mad at the thought that we might want to go out and discover more of this world, walk the greater walks, see the greater sights.)

It all brings me back to the fortune cookie message. You are worthy enough to ask. Am I? Really? What am I worthy enough to ask for? Freedom? A love life? A career? A new phone? The chance to be on my own and mind my own business without it bothering anybody? A nice, cool, temperature to sleep in so I don't have to pour ice into my bed before going to sleep every night? It all sounds like I'd be asking for too much. Faust's sounds like a better deal. 

You are blessed enough to receive back. Receive what?

It could, of course, mean nothing at all because it's a silly old fortune cookie and I got it at random and why-do-I-bother-with-these-things-anyway? and goodness-knows-who-comes-up-with-these-messages but remember I'm the sort of person who doesn't believe in Church but believes in the power of lighting a candle in front of an antique figure of Virgin Mary. It's me who got the fortune cookie and it's me who keeps the messages stored where no one would look for them, like that will make them premonitory/magical somehow. 

Back to Funny Girl, then. (I owe you a review of Fiddler on the Roof: loved the music and the symbolism, finally understood where someone's name came from. Now I don't owe it.) I tried to focus on the film and on Barbra Streisand's raw talent, the music, the story to keep me from letting the somewhat-childish sadness overwhelm me. And... what do you know? The film made mw ant to cry too because it's such a wretched end for Fanny. Here's the girl who's talented and lucky enough to get what she wants by just wanting it hardly but she doesn't see the trouble in falling for a "professional gambler." Here's a strong and independent woman who's smart, and funny and who-cares-about-her-actually-lovely-looks-who-lands-the-hot (seriously, 1968?)-guy. Here's the girl who's lucky enough to turn a one-night-stand with the man she lost her virginity to into marriage. Here's the girl who left her career for the man she loved and it turned out to be the right gamble (because her career would be right there for her anyway). Here's that girl, in love with a man who is no good for her. And she's helpless until she sort of isn't. And the real Fanny Brice had three unsuccessful marriages, goodness knows if she ever knew a loving, stable relationship. No, you can't have it all. But don't you wish she could? Doesn't she deserve it? If she doesn't... what hope is there for the rest of us? You know, when she met Nick after those 18 months I was telling myself "they're going to break up: she wants him too badly."

And I remembered a dream I had two nights ago. Where I remembered a dream where I'd had the most useless "epiphany:" LesMisGuy wanted nothing to do with me after that night when we kissed because I reeked of desperation and I wanted things to work out between us too badly. The thing that gave me away was trying to hug him and lay my head between his shoulder and his neck and thinking there was this big ulterior reason that he was there kissing me beyond "I wouldn't mind having sex with you." It's pathetic enough that I'm still thinking about all this, that it still troubles me. It's sad enough that I gain such insight through dreams and that I have to remember a dream inside another to tell myself: "That's what you did wrong: you wanted it too badly." Isn't that a horrible thing to say to a hopeless romantic? Don't we romantics believe that if you want something badly enough and are otherwise a quite good person then you deserve it?

Isn't it depressing when the last thing telling you it's still okay to dream is a silly old fortune cookie message?

PS: In case you're wondering, I haven't heard from SmTn. I left A a somewhat late congratulatory message for getting everything sorted out to go study some more and haven't written anything more to CtThumbe though it's high time I did because... I don't know what to write. It's been forever since I last talked to AOB or N1. I couldn't give less of a fuck about EBF, though I was tempted enough to tell him of something funny and then get no response and even so wanted to show him something else funny because I'm an idiot but I held myself back that second time.

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